NHL Rumors: Erik Karlsson, and the Columbus Blue Jackets

Five intriguing potential destinations for defenseman Erik Karlsson

Sonny Sachdeva of Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman has reported the Penguins and Hurricanes are the top two most likely landing spots for San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson.

A look at five intriguing potential teams for the defenseman.

1. Pittsburgh Penguins – Could run out a PP unit of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jake Guentzel, Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson. Would make them even older but gives Crosby and others another shot at a Cup run.

NHL Rumors: Is it down to the Penguins and Hurricanes for Erik Karlsson?

2. Edmonton Oilers – There were trade talks before the deadline. They haven’t had a true number one defenseman in a long time.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs – Would be a gamble but the type of player the organization has always craved. It would give their PP a true QB.

4. Carolina Hurricanes – Could question his fit on their blue line. He could definitely help their PP. Karlsson and Brent Burns didn’t really work together well when paired in San Jose.

5. Ottawa Senators – A long-shot but it had been speculated earlier that the Sens might have some interest. Bringing back Karlsson would take some pressure off the younger players and give them a mentor.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are still looking to make moves

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic: Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said that flat cap and teams with little cap space is making it hard to make trades.

“The whole league is pretty much capped out right now,” Kekalainen said. “You could probably move dollar for dollar, so … we’re not going to be getting our summer vacation started anytime soon. Things have quieted down a bit, but the phones are still working.”

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Kekalainen wonders if teams may walk away from arbitration awards or use the second buyout window. They’ll be keeping an eye on that.